When buying a property located within a Homeowners Association, there are rules you have to adhere to. Most homeowners associations for a detached housing community are similar.
- fencing has to be the same height & material throughout the community (if the fencing is only 4' - no privacy fences are allowed)
- exterior paint colors must be approved by the HOA architectural committee
- sheds must be approved by the HOA architectural committee
- some landscaping needs to be approved (some have rules about the percentage of grass
- may not be able to change your oil in the driveway
- may not be able to park a work vehicle with the name of your company on it
When buying into a property that is multi-family (condo or townhome) there are a few other items you need to think about -
- anything that is done to the exterior of your unit that can be seen from the street needs to be approved by the HOA architectural committee (windows, security door, paint)
- parking restrictions
- pet restrictions (not only through the HOA, but the City restrictions)
- rental restrictions
- garage (assigned or deeded)
- read the financials and minutes to know what is coming in the future
- read the minutes to see if the Board members are talking about a possible special assessment
Each community will have its own rules and regulations, and a good idea to do some homework ahead of time if you have a large dog, a work panel van, or would like to rent out the unit down the road.